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Dirt roads & shoulderless roads SUCK!!

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Dirt roads & shoulderless roads SUCK!!

Old 09-08-04, 11:01 AM
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dragracer
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Dirt roads & shoulderless roads SUCK!!

Took off for a short ride about an hour before dark last night. Decided to go down and around an extra mile that I had never ridden before....bad idea. Went over these railroad tracks and then boom.....dirt road. I HATE DIRT ROADS....but I figured it would be less than a mile before I could turn back toward home. So rather than backtracking I went on. Got to the next mile...no road....next mile....no road. The dirt road wound around through the boonies and I finally come out on a blacktop road several miles from home. So I turn back east on this freakin' road that has no shoulder and all kinds of traffic driving like maniacs. I had come out at the bottom of a huge hill so I manage to get up it and then when I get to the top...BAM!!...the sun hits me right square in the eyes.....can't see anything. If I couldn't see then I knew the "maniacs" coming up from behind couldn't see me. Not wanting to be killed at the tender age of 45 by the "maniacs", I call my wife to come rescue me. So she takes me a couple miles up the road where I can head back south and drops me off. I head on home and get there right before dark.

So I guess I learned three things last night....
1. Don't ride roads you are not completely sure where they go that close to dark.
2. Riding 700x23's on dirt roads is A VERY BAD IDEA! My tires are cut all to hell!!
3. Riding westbound on a shoulderless road at dusk this time of year is not an option
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Old 09-08-04, 11:08 AM
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Time to go cyclocross bike.
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Old 09-08-04, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dragracer
So I guess I learned three things last night....
1. Don't ride roads you are not completely sure where they go that close to dark.
2. Riding 700x23's on dirt roads is A VERY BAD IDEA! My tires are cut all to hell!!
3. Riding westbound on a shoulderless road at dusk this time of year is not an option
Shoulderless roads and blind corners make for a very dangerous combination. In this situation, it's better to just walk around the blind corner. In your case, since it was getting dark I would have had rear blinkies.
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Old 09-08-04, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Phiber
Time to go cyclocross bike.
Second that one. That is the route I went when I bought my bike. I live on a dirt road and have to go a short distance to get to the paved roads. It also allows me to ride gravel rail trails. Or I can pop on 23mm tires and go strictly pavement - having the option for larger tires is great.
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Old 09-08-04, 03:46 PM
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Ya gotta admit, though, cycling is an adventure.
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Old 09-08-04, 04:02 PM
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Your right shoulderless roads do suck i live in an area where there are tons of bikers and 70% of the roads dont have shoulders.
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Old 09-08-04, 04:08 PM
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I ride dirt roads pretty often for short distances. Guess they're better kept out here.
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Old 09-08-04, 04:38 PM
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Hey, you for got #4, Carry a Cell Phone
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Old 09-08-04, 04:54 PM
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You did the right thing. I remember when I first started cycling and came upon a shoulderless, busy road. Scared me to death. A student of mine told me in that situation to take the lane, not try to ride close to the edge and let cars by. Now I make them wait until it's safe for me and the car before I move over and let them pass.

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Old 09-09-04, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rgarza28
Hey, you for got #4, Carry a Cell Phone
Naaaa......I learned that one a long time ago. I never go on a ride(by myself) without it.




Originally Posted by cytoman
You did the right thing. ...............
Ya well I didn't want to "wuss out" and call for help....but the sun setting directly inline with the road was just a little bit scarry. Oh well....only lost a couple of miles.... and my wife only lost a few minutes of channel surfing.
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Old 09-09-04, 01:07 PM
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If I only rode roads with shoulders .... well, I wouldn't be doing much riding. The vast majority of the roads in my area have either no shoulder, or a shoulder riddled with gravel, and little uglies that guarantee punctures/crashes.
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Old 09-10-04, 04:57 AM
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Reminds me of my first few enthusiastic days on a road bike. Back then, I was so excited about the long distance capabilities that I over extended myself on the mileage at around dusk time.

On the way back from my trip I ended up on this dark shoulderless frontage round.....Then all of a sudden I went off the shoulder and BLAMO!!!!!

I wasn't so afraid of knowing I would hit the ground....I was more afraid of a car running my fallen body over.

All I remember thinking while falling was ...."please dear god don't let there be a car behind me!!"

Dark roads can be scary...especially when the conditions go ****ty like they did to you.

I know ho you felt....I was reliving that experience when I read your post.
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